Saturday, September 10, 2011


I'm afraid that more often than not, this blog has become a "safe" place for my venting rather than a place that I share amusing or funny stories. That's probably because there are really very few people available in my circle that will allow me to vent or understand what I'm screaming about. In any case, I have yet another story of outrage to convey.

Probably by now, y'all have realized that I'm a big sucker especially for the underdog. The sick, wounded, or old only need to bat their eyes at me and I'll come running to their defense even when it is probably not the smartest thing to do. Doubt that will change at this point...

A few weeks ago, I saw an adult dog and a new puppy for some new clients for an examination and vaccines. The puppy was between 6-8 weeks of age and appeared healthy although she had a small "rash" on her ventral abdomen. I asked the usual questions about people in the household itching or the other dog and was told no problems. Since it was so mild and no one else seemed to be affected as of yet, I advised that the area be watched and the dog be re-evaluated if it worsened or anyone in the household developed skin lesions. I've heard nothing else from them until yesterday.

Apparently, they have called multiple times and no one saw fit to pull the chart to determine which doctor saw them or to even let me know. Yesterday, the puppy was brought in to be euthanized. She is pathetic. Supposed to be a Great Pyrenees / Golden Retriever mix, roughly 12 weeks old and she only weighs 6 pounds! She is skin and bones and has lost almost all of her hair. The small skin lesion has become generalized with pustules, papules, macules, etc. etc. etc. (just think of all those lovely derm words and they are present). Her eyes are crusted closed with purulent discharge related to the skin lesions. She won't eat or drink on her own but still has a wag to her tail and a bit of a growl when she doesn't like what is being done to her. Her skin scraping was negative therefore I'm looking at probable sarcoptic mange.

I guess you figured out she has not been euthanized. Instead she was surrendered and the sucker that writes this is taking care of her for the moment. She is on IV fluids and antibiotics and currently I'm syringe feeding her. She is showing some improvement but is far from out of the woods yet. Believe it or not, I have an interested party who may want her if she survives.

Here's the other part, though. The owner, after surrendering her, wanted to adopt one of the two lab mix puppies that we have at the clinic looking for homes. She started out saying her friend wanted one but it was obvious she was not being truthful. I told the staff to tell her that her "friend" would have to come and fill out an adoption form in person. It then changed to "I." I then told her that she was not eligible to adopt. The nerve of some people astounds me!

It hearkens back to a similar situation not long ago that also made me furious. There are a couple of people that work with me who I have known for eons that, unfortunately, have a prejudice towards "purebred" dogs. We had two little mutt pups looking for homes and one of those people let someone adopt them who had just brought in a cat with a treatable condition and had it euthanized because they couldn't afford to treat it. To make matters worse, I had told them I would "cut them a deal" by decreasing the exam fee and not charging for cleaning and flushing the wounds. So what about that situation suggests that it would be a good home for two very young pups?

This same person, however, was totally on my side this time about not letting these people take the two LAB pups. (By the way, I gave the same instructions in the previous incident but was ignored and didn't know until too late because I was in surgery.) Clearly, the fact that these pups look like LABS and not just little mixes made all the difference. Makes me so mad; I hate prejudice of any kind and I thought that we were in the profession because we cared about all of the animals, not just the ones with a pedigree.

In any case, I now have a very sick little pup at my house in a makeshift ICU so that I can watch her closely over the next few days. I'll keep y'all posted and hopefully she'll pull through and go to live with the last foster dog that I had. Which is a story in itself that I can't remember if I have already told or not... Boy, those brain cells sure seem to be dying off faster these days.

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